An Alaskan in Colombia

In Travel Stories by scott

A Brown Violetear, seen in Columbia. Photo: Karen Gordon

Karen Gordon up in Fairbanks saw about 250 bird species on a trip to Colombia. She got some good pictures, too. We’ve included a few for you to view. Here is her report…Scott

“After I had purchased my ticket, I learned that the Colombia Bird Fair was going on in Cali, Colombia. Since I’m a birder, I changed my ticket to go early and attend the Bird Fair.  I went birding four days and saw around 250 species of birds.  Did you know Colombia has more species of birds than any other country at about 1950 species? 

Cinnamon Flycatcher. Photo: Karen Gordon

“I had a great time meeting some super bird guides in Cali.  Their program focused on migration patterns and habits as well as the dangers migratory birds face.  Most mortality occurs during migration, and I think the number was the loss of 2 billion birds.  There is one bird, the Wheatear, that summers in Alaska but winters in South Africa!  Who knew?  Actually, I have a brilliant birding friend here in Fairbanks who saw a wheatear last summer at his house on Chena Hot Springs Road.  He told me how far that little bird flies each year between here and the other side of the world.

Green Honeycreeper Photo: Karen Gordon

“Kilometer 18 is where you turn off the Cali-Puerto Buenaventura Highway and go further into the “bush” and to some very nice lodging establishments where the owners attract birds, especially hummingbirds. 

Southern Lapwing. Photo by: Karen Gordon

The bird guide and one of the coordinators of the Colombia Birding Fair also lives in this area and has a little finca where people can also watch birds he attracts.  I recommend anyone interested in tropical birds come stay at one of the lodges for two or three days.  There isn’t much to do in the area at all, it’s a bit off the beaten track, and watching birds and reading books makes these places a restful birding spot.”

Blue-crowned Motmot Photo: Karen Gordon

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